Voltage Drop to Replacement Lamppost

Here's the sequence of events. By the way, the wire is 12 guage.

  1. Replace old(but working lamppost)
  2. New lamppost does not light
  3. Voltage check shows it's pulling about 103 Volts. (voltage drop)
  4. Assuming I have somehow bent a wire, I dig down(and then back up) to find 'virgin' wire.
  5. Testing virgin wire shows still only 103 Volts!!!!

Bear in mind the old lamppost light worked(I tried hardwiring to the wire and it would not light up with the 103 Volts.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. At this point, I figure I need to dig to uncover the old line and maybe find when the voltage drop is acceptable.

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Did you check the other end of the wire? What is the voltage there? Wiring in conduit? or direct bury? What kind of wire is it?

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is the 103 volts between hot and neutral or not and ground test both ways and test between neutral and ground and see what you get..

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What instrument are you using to measure 103 volts? A digital multimeter with 10 Megohm input impedance will pick up leakage voltage across an open breaker, or induced voltage due to capacitive coupling. If you've got 103 volts that goes to zero with the lamp connected...you have an open circuit somewhere. Happy tracing. I used to assist electricians at a steel mill and periodically we would re-discover this phenomenon - those old solenoid testers would never go astray in similar circumstances.


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Bill Shymanski

what is the load of the old lamp in watts?

what is the load of the new lamp in watts?

what is the desired voltage?

what is the voltage measured at the circuit breaker?

what kind of lamp is this? fluorescent? sodium?

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Dear dmiller,

installed. 103V voltage drop does't make sense because there should be

4% more or less from nominal voltage. for your info, the wiring system for lamp post shall be in parallal (loop- to maintain stable voltage for each connections). I suggest you to connect single post by using amoured cable (from main supply) which is 2 connections (live and neutral) then for the rest connection, you should tap off the supply at the first post to second post with the same mathods and so on. this system may give stable supply to another lamp. don't bother about voltage drop unless the lamp post to be installed more then 10 nos.

forgive me if you can't understand my texts.



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